Green Destinations Certification Programs for Destinations


Our certification programs offer something for all types of destinations: large or small, new to or experienced in sustainable destination management Municipalities, cities, islands, regions, protected areas and private destinations can apply; while countries, states or provinces can opt for our Integrated Program for Countries and Regions to collectively introduce sustainable destination management and certification to a number of destinations within a territory.

Certification Logos
Logo GSTC-Accredited

About the Green Destinations Certification Programs for Destinations

Who is this program for?

Municipalities, counties, regions, islands protected areas etc.

Certificate Validity

2 years for Awards and 3 years for Certification


Initial engagement phase followed by minimum 2 years membership


Starting from €2300 annually, based on destination size and type. Discount for low & middle-income countries

Green Destinations & Quality Coast Award - Logos

Green Destinations & QualityCoast


GD Awards indicate (independent auditor-evaluated) compliance levels with the Green Destinations Standard, recognised by the GSTC. Audits are required every 2 years and result in Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum designation. QualityCoast Awards are especially designed for destinations focusing on waterfront sustainability, seaside, and beach quality. We celebrate our certified destinations at our annual Global Green Destinations Conference and our yearly ITB Berlin event


GD Certified - Logo Logo GSTC-Accredited

GSTC Certification by Green Destinations

“Green Destinations Certified” is our option to obtain GSTC Certification: global recognition for excellence in sustainable destination management.

The certification is Accredited by by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for adhering to the highest standards of transparent, objective and evidence-based certification.  The audit is more rigorous involving broad stakeholder consultation to verify compliance, and all criteria compliance should be fully supported by documented evidence.

Why join this program?

Destinations enrolled in the Awards and Certification Program participate in a sustainability management cycle aimed at continuous improvement through regular assessments and independent verifications.


Our certification programs are structured by the sustainability management guidelines of our Green Destinations Standard, which is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to cover globally agreed sustainability requirements. Progress is monitored through indicators, which makes the program concrete and measurable. You can easily implement our guidelines and indicators in your management system.

Destinations signing up for the GD Certification Awards and GSTC Certification program engage in a sustainability management cycle aimed at continuous improvement with periodic assessment and independent verification.

The main steps include:

1. Registration 

Register your interest for Award or Certification by filling in this online registration form. Based on the submitted details such as destination size and location, we will send you an offer for certification.

2. Engagement and reporting

Induction training to destination sustainability and how to apply the GD Standard, and report your compliance to the GD Standard on our online assessment platform. Coaching by GD secretariat or local representative.

3. Evaluation

Technical check and independent audit of reported sustainability compliance.

4. Certification

A Certification Committee evaluates auditor conclusions and (upon sufficient score), issues the Award or GSTC Certification, which remains valid for 2 or 3 years, respectively.

5. Action planning for continuous improvement

The online assessment platform provides an Action Planning tool and good practice examples for easy planning and implementing your sustainability improvements following the independent evaluation recommendations. 

The Green Destinations Standard

The Green Destinations Standard is the backbone of our Award & Certification program. It is a GSTC-recognised set of criteria to measure, monitor and improve the sustainability policy and management of destinations and regions. It makes sustainable development concrete, objective and demonstrable. In 2020, the 1st GD Standard (developed in 2016) was updated based on consultation with the GD Partnership and re-aligned with the GSTC Destination Criteria V2 – prolonging its ‘GSTC Recognised Status’ in 2021.

Hugo de Jong
Hugo de Jong

Head of Destination Certification

Kassandra Marie Correa
Kassandra Marie Correa

Destination Certification Coordinator

Slovenia Green
EcoTourism AU
Mountain Ideal
Join the Awards and Certifications program today


We offer two types of recognition GD Certification Awards and GD GSTC Certification.

Our awards and certification programs offer something for all types of destinations: large or small, new to or experienced in sustainable destination management.